CONCOURSE IN CLASS OF ITS OWN Danielle Nicastri
STARS STAY ON THEIR TOES
THE Concourse is becoming a world-class Australian venue by exclusively securing the English National Ballet for its June Australian tour. Since opening last September, the Chatswood venue has also secured the Vienna Boys’ Choir, soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and folk icon Judy Collins to perform in the coming months. The venue’s acoustic technology and facilities for performers and audiences were part of the attraction for ballet company artistic director Maina Gielgud. But in reality, Concourse executive director Greg Khoury said the decision came through keeping in contact with Gielgud. They worked together
■ Stars include Czech-born principal ballerina Daria Klimentova and her Russian partner Vadim Muntagirov. ■ And Brazilian-born twin brothers Vitor and Guilherme Menezes. ■ The repertoire includes George Balanchine’s Apollo, Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc and Celebrations, which is a selection of favourite classical pas de deux. ■ The ballets will be performed in The Concourse’s 500-seat theatre accompanied by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.
while Gielgud was Australian Ballet artistic director and Khoury was managing a group of other venues, including Enmore Theatre and Metro Theatre. ‘‘In the course of communicating with each other it came up and I pounced on it,’’ he said. ‘‘It was almost a bit like, ‘what are you doing on Friday?’ but on a larger scale.’’ Khoury says the biggest rival is not other venues or performances, but people
staying at home. ‘‘We’re very fragmented here, it’s not easy to get around in Sydney – it’s not like Melbourne,’’ he said. ‘‘The Harbour Bridge is a psychological barrier.’’ He rejects suggestions The Concourse is further afield for ballet tour audiences.. ‘‘Part of the reason why the take up on the north shore is so strong is because people don’t want to have the ordeal of going into town,’’ he said.
English National Ballet dance Suite en Blanc at The Coliseum, London.
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